Monday, October 18, 2010

Me + cooking this week = sucks

I have cooked every day that we've been here. It isn't always fancy...usually not...but I am SO trying to cook nice meals. Once upon a time, I actually fancied myself a pretty good cook. Not sure if it has anything to do with being half way around the world or not, but lately I really suck at cooking. Chris snickered and asked "WHEN does she start?" tonight when I said an interview for house help went well. Sadly, I second his words and feel sheepish on my cooking suckiness as of late.

Our only spices are salt, pepper and garlic salt. I only bought olive oil yesterday. We have bought little meat (in part due to the beef anthrax warnings...nice). We cannot consume water from the tap, and no way will I ever even cook with it when we have such a nice distiller and jug cooler. The power goes out about 20 times a day... I sh*t you not.  So some evenings I'm either prepping or at least cleaning up dishes in 90 seconds X however many outages of darkness until the generator kicks on. Man, do we HEART the generator! The previous line "cleaning up", yes we do not have a dishwasher other than me.  And I despise doing dishes! So in addition to the giant task of cooking, I then immediately after eating said crappy dinner, have the giant-er task of cleaning up the mountain of dishes.... and bleaching them. Please don't take this post as a pity party, I am still very much enjoying the ride, just noting the big changes from "the way we were" (I know you want to break into song... misty water colors memories...).

We are actually starting to have fun playing Marco Polo in the dark at the dinner table. Marco!

So I am feeling like a fish out of water in the cooking department and look forward to our new helper starting tomorrow! I hope to learn some local recipes from her. She comes highly recommended and even got a "best Bangla cooking we've had while living there" comment from her last family. She came today and though her English is not great (and by all means my Bangla is non-existent), we got on great. Ceiba even got a few minutes of play time with her on the floor and really enjoyed herself. Let's just say she won't have to try very hard to outdo the pitiful meals we've had this past week. We look very forward to dinner tomorrow night!

Here is a sample of the prep for tonight's dinner. It started well...
 Grapes & crab tonight (top), misc fruit/veg & bakery (middle)
 pizza crusts from Lavender grocery store for 25 taka (about $0.30)

We bought the crab claws for 465 taka, under $7 and enough for 3 meals. They didn't turn out too bad, but the fresh spinach from the rooftop garden that I laboriously washed and disinfected, chilled, tempura-ed and tried to flash fry... total poop. Grapes, naan bread, sweet-leaded iced tea (my signature dish) & leftover macoroni = good. So I guess my batting average wasn't completely terrible. But still, very looking forward to not eating my own cooking tomorrow.


  1. You are (were - lol) a good cook!! You always make new and yummy things...what's the matter? I guess all the added obstacles have done you in for worries! I am laughing about no dishwasher though. Remember how you always asked me why I didn't use mine? Sorry it is a bit funny. I do feel your pain. Glad you got your house help. Bon a petit :)

  2. OH DENISE!! I wish I could come give you a hug. I PROMISE it will get better and easier. It just sucks because even when life overseas is confusing and stressful, you feel like, well, at least we can have a good meal....but then that doesn't even work out. Hang in there.

  3. Fleming FootprintsOctober 24, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    I LOVE this post! Is this what I get to look forward to? Cuz I can't tell you how many meals I feel like this and I haven't even left the states! Can't wait to hear how having help goes...